Not only information but also a person’s life is lost at the end of the short story. The Swimming Contest” ends with the author contemplating the fact that he and all those present around him have lost valuable knowledge due to the death of Abdul Karim.


The author uses the duration of the story to demonstrate the ongoing conflict between those of Arab and Hebrew descent. Thus, the word “losers” further implies that there are no real winners in the events occurring not only throughout the short story but also during any conflict.

Benjamin Tammuz is a famous writer from Israel, with his many of his books and essays, such as “The Orchard,” available on Amazon. The short story “The Swimming Contest” is published in the compilation “50 Stories from Israel.”

Benjamin Tammuz portrait.
Benjamin Tammuz (Source: https://www.europaeditions.com)